......shades of the early work of Jack Yeovil in this very dark fantasy that kept me turning pages right to the end....
Written mainly in first person from Greric’s point of view, this is a dark fantasy story, of a warrior who has lost everything and no longer cares about his life. Greric is a driven, bitter, greiving, man his retirement from war brutally shattered by the murder of his family. The horrible knowledge that if he should find his children alive he will have to kill them is something he faces without breaking, as he faces the awful odds and finds those – his friends and comrades – who tried to rush in before him to save the victims.
Greric is that rarest of things, an absolutely competant hero. His children may have been taken alive, but he knows that he cannot rescue them, that by the time he gets there they will be worse than dead. He accepts this, but instead of giving up, he takes the months it will need to prepare and goes to avenge them and to make sure the Dimwood Witch can harm no others. The odds he faces are so high that the story still crackles with tension, and it is still never certain he will succeed.
For all that we barely see any characters other than Greric, the background characters’ personas and roles come across clearly. If I wanted to use one word to describe the story though, it would be atmospheric: you can feel the chill from the page, and the suspense as he approaches. The sheer amount of atmosphere and tension makes what could have been yet another quest story stand out.
The writing is, I would have to say, unobtrusive. I couldn’t tell you anything about the author’s writing style because I was too lost in the images it evoked.
The action scenes are well laid out and absolutely gripping, and it cuts back and forth between flashback and real fluidly and without losing either the flow or the reader. The plot is tight, and makes sense, and absolutely no punches are pulled. None. I have only one slight nag: I think the last page or so should have been marked epilogue or given a scene break, instead of flowing directly from the main story as a new paragraph.
There are shades of the early work of Jack Yeovil in this, and anyone who likes his writing should definitely get this book. Warhammer fans? It’s a deathseeker trying to take down one last villain against immense odds. Just read it.
A very dark fantasy that kept me turning pages right to the end. This one’s for fantasy fans, but horror readers should give it a look as well.Rating: 4
Reviewed on: 2017-03-10
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